The Arizona Cardinals won their first game in nearly two months thanks in part to Kyler Murray’s return to the lineup. And although we had some incredible takeaways from that big win, it also showed us that the Cards are still a long way off from being a team that will snag consistent W’s.
Below, you will find three major concerns that the Cardinals are still dealing with in the second half of the season. Each of the three stood out in yesterday’s win, but they are also nothing new. Arizona’s rushing defense, penalties (on offense and defense), and third-down efficiency all need to be addressed as the 2023 season dives well into its third quarter.
So what exactly has happened regarding these major concerns in 2023? Keep reading for a detailed outline of each, starting with the floundering rushing defense.
3 major concerns the Arizona Cardinals are still facing
1 - Rushing defense
The Arizona Cardinals passing defense has struggled all season, but vs. the Atlanta Falcons, they looked relatively effective, holding quarterbacks Taylor Heinicke and Desmond Ridder to just 70 passing yards and 2.9 yards per pass. It was an outstanding day for them, but the rushing defense was another story.
The Cards allowed 184 rushing yards on 41 attempts, which equaled 4.5 yards per carry. Arizona entered yesterday’s game as one of the worst in stopping the run, an issue that has been ongoing for a while now, and through 10 games, they are 31st in rushing defense with 1,342 yards allowed.
While it was great to see the passing defense enjoy a stellar game for once, we still can barely say the same for the rushing defense. To be fair, the Redbirds were facing Bijan Robinson, one of the league’s better backs, but sooner than later, they need to fix their issues in stopping the run.